With Halloween just a few days away, we thought it would be fun to talk about another holiday that’s similar…but different. Dia de los Muertos, also known as Day of the Dead, takes place from midnight October 31st to November 2nd.
Day of the Dead is mostly celebrated in Mexico, Spain, Italy, and Central and South America, but lots of people celebrate Dia de los Muertos in the U.S. too. The holiday originates from ceremonies held by the Aztecs dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. When the devoutly-Catholic Spanish conquered the Aztecs, they tried to get them to stop their shenanigans, but failed. Instead, the festival was shortened, and made to take place during the Catholic All Saint’s Day.
Like Halloween, Day of the Dead is highly anticipated, especially by kids, and calls for a great celebration. Unlike Halloween, nobody dresses up to try to scare the souls of the dead away. In fact, it’s the opposite. Participants believe that the gates of Heaven open up at midnight on October 31st, and the souls of dead children (called angelitos) come down to visit their families for 24 hours. On November 2nd, the souls of dead adults come down too.
To welcome the beloved deceased, families create altars and decorate them with candles, fruits, tortillas, bottles of soda, and lots of flowers—especially Mexican Marigold. Toys and candy are left out for the children, while adult souls can expect cigarettes and lots of alcohol. On the last day of the celebration, families trek to the cemeteries, where bands play music and people reminisce on the departed.
Dia de los Muertos brings families together, and keeps them close to members who have left this mortal world. It also inspires a ton of art, especially sugar skulls!
SEE ALSO Spooky Etsy Finds For Halloween
In honor of this rich holiday—and the dead themselves—we’ve picked out some of our favorite sugar skulls from Etsy sellers!
Sugar Skull Post Earrings, $11.95 PrettyInInkJewelry
10 Edible Vanilla-Flavored Sugar Skulls, $32 ArtisanSweets
Sugar Skull Pillow, $50 TheWatsonShop
Nail Decals, $3.50 Naildrobe
Tank, $7.29+ comfortees
4 Garden Stakes, $38 CraftyUToo
Day of the Dead Frida Print, $10 mdartanddesigns
Hand-Painted Mug, $35 TexasCeramics
Necklace, $10.49 RavensDen2
For more Etsy Wednesday, check out our features here.